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Study: child abuse, teen homicides up in Allen County

(Photo Supplied/Indiana Youth Institute)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Statistics released by the Indiana Youth Institute show Indiana saw a sharp increase in homicides among children and teenagers, especially locally.

The number of homicide deaths among those 19 and younger jumped from 35 in 2012 to 65 in 2013, with 73.1 percent of those deaths coming in Marion, Lake and Allen counties.

The institute’s interim CEO and president, Glenn Augustine, called the statistics “alarming.”

The statistics show homicide was the top cause of death among blacks ages 15 to 24, with 105 deaths. Accidents were the second leading cause with 32, followed by suicide with 10 and fourth was death by a law enforcement officer, with four.

Among both whites and Hispanics, accidents were the leading cause of death, followed by suicide and homicide.

Indiana is also fifth in the nation in child abuse, according to the study, which says for every 1,000 kids in Indiana, 16 are abused, and half of them are age 5 or younger.

Rachel Tobin-Smith of SCAN Inc. told the Journal Gazette a big reason for the increase in child abuse locally is the increase in drug use, specifically heroin. That, in turn, leads to addict parents who forget to clean and take care of their child, or spend all their cash on drugs instead of food or clothing.

In Allen County, abuse and neglect cases are up. The Department of Child Services says they got up to 800 abuse reports a month during the latter half of 2015.

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